Sunday, October 9, 2011

tea obsession: mint and honey green tea

As part of my do-it-myself movement, I have been trying to replicate a beloved thing or two at home. This tea is one of those things:

I went scouting around this here interweb looking for recipes for this, but I was not happy with what I found. The best recipe I found called for both sugar and honey. My response to that was, "Sugar! and honey! What?" I thought about how crazy that was for a bit before I actually got around to looking at the label on the bottle. As printed: filtered water, organic cane sugar, organic green tea, organic honey, organic spearmint extract, ascorbic acid (vitamin c), citric acid, and natural flavors*. Oh, oops, there are both sugar and honey in the tea.

Anyhow, I never got around to using the recipe because I figured out something on my own.

A technique, with not-all-that-helpful pictures:

I put a small bunch of mint leaves into six cups of water and bring that to a boil. (I've been buying organic mint from the store. I am also growing mint, but my plant is tiny with leaves about a twentieth the size of these. She's still alive, though, which is fabulous to see each morning when I water her and talk to her.)

As soon as the water boils, I throw in six bags of green tea and remove the pan from the heat. I add four tablespoons of honey and stir it all up. After a bit, I place a tea strainer over my pitcher and empty the contents of the pan into the strainer. (My pitcher is thick glass, I should probably mention. I doubt pouring the incredibly hot tea into a plastic pitcher would be a great idea.) If there's any space at the top of the pitcher, I just pour in a bit of water. I let the tea cool and then place it in the refrigerator.

(And, yes, those are the only pictures I took. Oy. Well, it has taken me somewhere around six months to finally post this, so this is about right for how I'm currently operating.)

When I'm ready for some tea, I do half tea and half water with ice. I guess I'm just so used to watering my tea down (why did I start that?), it's normal for me. I suppose you could just drink the tea as is, if you felt so inclined.

I recently bought some of the Sweet Leaf tea (which, until this very moment, I was convinced had "Grandma's" in it's name) and found it way incredibly exceedingly too sweet for me. I've been watering that down, too.**

I have to say that I'm feeling pretty good about being able to make this at home. There was a time I figured you couldn't do most things at home (because I was incredibly delusional, I guess?). I'll be working on tea lattes at home in the coming cold months. I tried this last year and even before that, I think, but I wasn't loving the results. Part of it was that I was using premade vanilla syrup (for Earl Grey tea lattes) and it was just kind of gross. I have better tea now and I'll be attempting to make my own syrup.


* Every time I see "natural flavors" on an ingredients label, I automatically think, "I wonder if it's bugs." Every freaking time.

** How is it that a bottle of this tea is too sweet for me, but an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream isn't? Hmm? Really, I'd like to know.